Israeli Forces Patrol the Streets as Jerusalem's Ultra-Orthodox Jews Prepare for Passover Holiday

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Israeli security forces patrolled the streets of Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of Mea Shearim Tuesday, April 7, a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a complete lockdown before the upcoming Passover holiday to control the country’s coronavirus outbreak.
READ MORE: Beginning Tuesday afternoon, Israel will ban movement between cities. Many of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox residents, obeying their religious leaders, have ignored pleas to stay home in the face of the coronavirus threat.

Some secular Israelis allege insular Haredi communities — with disproportionately high numbers of confirmed cases — are undermining national efforts to contain the virus.

In recent weeks, attempts by police to enforce quarantine orders in Bnei Brak and religious neighborhoods of Jerusalem resulted in standoffs with angry crowds.

Wednesday night is the first night of Passover, and for Jews around the globe it means retelling the ancient story of freedom from slavery from Egypt.

Israel has reported over 9,000 cases of coronavirus and 65 deaths. (VOA/AP)